Bartees Strange’s debut album, “Live Forever,” was released in October 2020 and reflects the same angst widely felt during the height of Covid-19. Opening track “Jealousy” is one of the most contemplative and subdued tracks on the album, leveling in stark contrast to the gamut of other songs infused with strong arena-rock, punk, and hip-hop influences.
“Boomer,” which has streamed over 1 million times on Spotify, features Bartees at his strongest. The upbeat, rap-infused alternative pop beat refuses to box itself in, with Bartees’ powerful voice relaying a measured angst in the verse, building to a sweeping, woeful chorus almost akin to an explosion: “And right when I get all my hopes up, something explodes lord/I never win.”
The Deluxe Version, which was released this October, features two new tracks: “Weights,” a melancholy punk-rock meditation on lingering feelings after a breakup, and “Flagey God Redux,” a rawer, stripped-down version of the similarly upbeat “Flagey God.” The original track, with a hazier, more layered production, matches the artist’s nebulous emotions: “If I was wrong/Let me be/I feel like a ghost right now,” while “Redux” is a refreshing rejection of this uncertainty with its light, airy riffs, and rhythmic pulses.
The remix of “Flagey God” is also a clever reimagining of a song about déjà vu: “Girl, you asked me if I get the déjà vu/I do with you.” You might get a little déjà vu from “Live Forever” (Deluxe Version), but don’t miss the opportunity to hear these amazing new tracks from this burgeoning star.